Caring cleaners and superstar chef receive special awards

A team of close-knit, cheerful and caring hospital cleaners from Portsmouth have received a special award to mark the difference they make to colleagues and patients.

The Block B domestic team at St Mary’s Community Health Campus were described as “a wonderful group of people” who worked extremely hard and were always inclusive, welcoming and supportive of each other as well as each other’s family commitments.

Working many anti-social hours while others have gone home, the cleaning team ensure a safe environment for their colleagues and patients and always deliver a high quality service.

Their nomination said: “Their work keeps people safe in perhaps a non-glamorous way which puts it at risk of being undervalued and taken for granted.

“These are hardworking individuals protecting staff and patients. They check in with each other, assessing each other’s workload and working as a team to deliver great service – but are also hugely mindful of each other’s wellbeing and their lives outside of work.

“The team are happy, caring for each other and everyone they encounter. They need to be in the limelight for a moment.”

Judges named them Solent NHS Trust’s team of the month for the positive contribution they have made and their ongoing dedication.

The team consists of supervisor Ewelina Majda and domestics Landa Alcani, Pat Restall and Charlene Britton.

Meanwhile highly commended in the colleague of the month award was Portsmouth chef David Smith, also based at St Mary’s, described as an unsung hero who always went above and beyond in everything he did.

Hard-working David has kept the kitchens and restaurant running smoothly while his colleagues Jim Richardson and Joe Hennigan competed in NHS Chef 2022.

His nomination said David had worked many shifts single-handedly. He had cancelled days off and been very adaptable as Jim and Joe progressed through the competition.

It continued: “He has been an absolute superstar and his dedication to the department is so clear to see. He has progressed so much in recent months and, as his confidence has improved, so has his food.

“David always wants to put out the best possible dishes for both our staff and our customers. He is always willing to listen and take on feedback to improve what we offer.

“David is our undervalued superstar for sure, and it would be great to see him get the recognition he deserves.”


Mark Young, Deputy Director of Estates and Facilities, said: “Everyone in the team works extremely hard behind the scenes keeping our hospitals and health buildings running safely and efficiently.

“It is fantastic to see our Block B cleaners and David our chef being singled out for going the extra mile in already demanding roles. I am in awe of what our staff achieve every single day and feel extremely proud to have such amazing people in our team.”

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